Formed 5 years ago but playing music together going back as long as 15 years ago, Miss Lucid have created their 5 track, self-titled debut record, due for release in April 3rd on Fat Hippy Records. The debut single, ‘The Beast’ was unleashed on March 6th and they will also have some live dates that will be announced imminently. Luckily I got my hands on the full album for review! More »

It’s the new record from Moshi Moshi signings Happyness, who are releasing the follow-up to their acclaimed cult hit debut album, ‘Weird Little Birthday’, on April 7th this year. This new album “Write In” was recorded in their studio, right above a now-demolished old book shop, and is said take in a much wider range of influences, highlighting many new sides to the band’s song writing style. With the band only gaining more steam and heading for promising things by all accounts, it was only right that this little piglet here got her hands on it for a listen to see what all the hype is about!

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From the first few lines of the opening anti-gentrification title track it was clear I was going to love this record and it just gets better the more you listen to it. My first time round was in the car and it was played three times in a row. I know little about the band, the CD came with no information and the band all have paper bags on their heads in the cover photo and as we listened on that drive we were second guessing who the band actually were. The singer has a quality to his voice that reminded me of Suggs out of Madness and I wrongly assumed that this was perhaps a side project of his. More »

It is 40 years this month since Iggy Pop’s debut album, ‘The Idiot’, was first released. Back in the grunge-heyday of the early 90s, ‘The Idiot’ was a puzzling prospect. Iggy Pop and Lou Reed were basically the godfathers of anything that was alternative, but here was a classic album of Pop’s canon, typically considered his best, that was drenched in synths and minimalistically dancey rhythms, with nary a guitar to be found on most of the tracks! Robert Harris explores this iconic record.  More »

Rather amazingly, Dreadzone are one of those bands who’ve been around together for seemingly ages (they’re now in their third decade) – and yet the public at large is still blissfully unaware of them.  That’s incredible, don’t you think?  If I were asked to name the one band who’s playing at Glastonbury at the exact moment when you ‘find yourself’, then Dreadzone would likely be that band.  That’s because along with their hazy mix of deep bass, dub beats and dance undertones, there’s a definite lean towards the otherworldly music which spills out of the West Holts Dance area.  Call it dub, reggae, dubtronica or post-rave, it really doesn’t matter – it’s melodic, very listenable and you can’t help but shake in time with the music.

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Keyboard maestro Vangelis has personally overseen the remastering of Delectus,  a 13 disc retrospective collection comprised of a selection of his solo albums and those recorded with Jon Anderson of Yes.  More »

I first saw Pixies playing live nearly 30 years ago at Manchester International supporting Throwing Muses (who were promoting their second album ‘House Tornado’ – still one of my all-time favourite albums).  I didn’t actually realise at the time, but it was to be one of those tours which people still talk about years later (‘You were there??!!  No way!!’).  I was – and still am – an avid 4AD fan, so I’d purchased Pixies’ album ‘Surfer Rosa’ on its release just over a month prior to the gig.  The album’s now well-documented ‘loud-quiet-loud’ songs made for an essential listen; Pixies didn’t sound like much else at the time – and certainly nothing on the 4AD roster.  I likely don’t need to tell you that bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead & David Bowie cited them as a huge influence.  It still amazes me how Pixies signed to a London-based label, despite originating from Boston, Massachusetts – and even 4AD themselves nearly passed on the opportunity had it not been for the girlfriend of then-chief Ivo Watts-Russell who managed to persuade him.

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George Jones was the king of heartbreak. But with his demise in 2013, Jim Lauderdale, the crown prince, could very well take the throne. However, it’s not as simple as a mere coronation ceremony. It’s a test of mettle, of experience, and of the songs. With a solo career spanning from 1986 to 2017, Lauderdale has the experience, and as evidenced by London Southern, he has a firm grasp on the songs. However, the sceptre just about slips away.    More »

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the STS Digital reel to reel copy of Jazz Masters Volume 1 More »

When I think of reggae coming out of the UK in the 80s and 90s my mind immediately jumps to the fabulous On-U Sounds label and producer Adrian Sherwood. Indeed, in the early 90s I had a radio show on Sony Radio Station of the Year winner Wear FM called The Midnight Train To Doomsville inspired by the Lee Perry tune of the same name. Every week we would start the show with the full version of the song taken from one of the On-U Sound Pay It All Back series of compilations. The label even inspired a group of us to form a reggae band that enjoyed reasonable success in the North East of the country…but I digress. More »

This Is Steve” is the latest contribution by the lively, playful, imaginative and inimitable guitarist Delicate Steve. Formerly signed to David Byrne’s label he’s established himself as not only an exciting instrumentalist in his own right, producing and playing everything on the new album, but also a go-to figure for work with artists like Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill. More »

A new signing to Innovative Leisure. The Molochs have picked up some great support lately from many aficionados in the music world, all noting their retro take on things, with a contemporary slant. Theirs is a mission statement that promises to pull apart the past, rather than recreate it, and on this new album, ‘America’s Velvet Glory’ (due out the 13th of January), their spritely garage nods to the likes of Violent Femmes, Kinks, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground and other such artists. More »

Can a genre ever die? Can it really simply fade into the past, confined to a coffin of retrospective reviews and nostalgia tours?

It’s been noted that previous attempts at revivals of music genres failed. Very occasionally, you’ll get one that results in something different; neo-psychedelia is proof of that, as is the garage rock or post-punk revival of the early 00s. More »

Never one to avoid an obvious cliché, John Scott takes a walk on the wild side and reacquaints himself with Lou Reed’s 1972 hit album. More »

Making noise is a bit like making a mistake: any fool can make a mistake, but it takes skill to cause a fiasco. More »

CALLING PUNKS OF ALL AGES! Gather your favourite pair of pogo-worn Doc Martins, best ripped, studded and patch covered denim jacket and slick up that Mohawk, because punks not dead and the 111 track long Action Time Vision Boxset is here to remind us of that. So get on board or get left behind! Still not sure? Well I have been lucky enough to get my anarchy loving paws on the boxset to review it, so let’s dive in! More »

Herbie Hancock rose to fame as a member of Miles Davis’s acoustic quintet, whose music helped define a new kind of Jazz. He’s perhaps best know for his record Canatloupe Island from the album Empyrean Isles and sampled on the Us3 tune Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) but he is known as being a crossover artist blending jazz with elements of funk and here he takes on the disco genre, infecting it with electronic jazz elements…and controversially at the time, vocoders. More »

This is a collection of six studio albums, plus some other related material, from the period 1963-1968 and covering the groups entire catalogue recorded for Transatlantic Records (whose first releases were a trio of sex education records). More »

Electric Six is a six-piece band from Detroit, Michigan. Their style is a brand of rock music infused with elements of garage, disco, punk rock, new wave, and metal all forming a very unique and at times odd sound. The band hit the big time in 2003 with the singles “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar”, and subsequently recorded eleven full-length studio albums. However, a twelfth was announced July 2016 with its name being ‘Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres’ and I just so happen to have been lucky enough to review said album! More »

Marianne Faithfull celebrates her 70th birthday on the 29th of December.  John Scott takes a listen to her 1979 album Broken English. More »

LACK are a Bedfordshire based British Punk trio, consisting of Rob, Jay and Steve. After 9 months, LACK were off to Wallington to record their first album, Anthem, and are soon to release their second album, which I was lucky enough to gain early access to. More »

Twenty Eight year old, Californian singer songwriter Natalie Mering throws back to a psychy-folk feel of the sixties, with a Gallic touch thrown in there for good measure…but then she doesn’t at the same time. More »

I’ve sat on this for a while and it’s now out there for you to get your hands on but it’s very difficult to write a balanced review of what represents four of your favourite albums of all time by your favourite band of all time. Yes it’s a boxset re-release from the late 70’s but hey, I don’t care! So, let’s throw balance out the window and say from the off that this re-release package of four albums represents some of the finest music ever made and I know each track like the back of my hand; they have been played so often over the years. This is Bob Calvert, who was by this time the band’s vocalist in residence, era Hawkwind and his way with words is, to my mind second to none. More »

Whyte Horses are from Manchester and this album came out earlier this year, but only just landed on my desk a few days ago. The band is the brainchild of one Dom Thomas who runs the Finders Keepers record label that re-releases obscure records from around the world – check it out, there’s some crazy assed stuff on there! More »

John Paul White was one half of The Civil Wars, the other half being Joy Williams, but that all went horribly wrong and the breakup of the alt-country duo, despite the mega-stardom, not to mention the soon to be released second album that lay before them, was a magnificent demonstration of how to spectacularly implode in public. Cancelled tours and studious paying no attention to each other followed and continues to this day as far as I’m aware. More »

Let’s get one thing straight from the off about Honeyblood, and this, their second album on Fat Cat Records… I am clearly not the target audience for this record, but that didn’t stop me from absolutely adoring this terrifically entertaining slab of indie-punky-poppy wonderfulness!!!  More »

The Allah-Las latest CD “Calico Review” promo landed on my desk yesterday (it was released on Sept 9th) and despite this band having been formed in 2008 and having a couple of albums out previously (Allah-Las (2012) and Worship The Sun (2014)) I must confess they are wholly new to me. More »

Earlier this month, Bob Dylan became the first musician to be awarded a Nobel prize for literature.  John Scott celebrates by having a listen to Dylan’s  1975 album Blood On The Tracks. More »

José Feliciano, no me neither, and so here’s a bit of background. Feliciano is Puerto Rican and was born blind as a consequence of congenital glaucoma but never the less he is regarded by some as the world’s greatest living guitarist. More »

You’ll know the name of course and since his days with Public Image Ltd, Mr Wobble has put out over forty albums and taken part in a huge number of collaborations. Last year he released a six CD box set called Redux, but In Dub allows fans or those new to his music, an affordable collection of this particular style of music he’s output. More »

Everything these days is ‘post-something’, don’t you think?  Post-rock, Post-punk, post-everything.  That being the case, Julia Jacklin’s debut album ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’ should possibly take the mantle of ‘post-alt-country’, whatever that means.  The album’s a lively mix of laid-back guitar-driven songs which lie somewhere between Laura Marling, Faith Over Reason, Eileen Rose and Patti Smith.  She certainly has a voice that would melt butter – ‘Leadlight’ is one of those gorgeous summery anthems which you often hear when abroad, being both bittersweet in lyrical content and smooth as silk in the vocal department. More »

I’ve had this for a good few weeks now and it was released to the public on the 7th October…and, despite the bumph that came with the CD declaring it a “none concept album”, I’ve been frantically analysing and trying to work out what the concept is or what the hell Mr Haines is on.  There does seem to be a thread running through the album; Is it about ritual magick, is it about radical Marxist groups or is it just a collection of random tunes that could only be the product of an absolute genius? More »

This month John Scott turns his attention to the UK singer songwriter Elvis Costello who rose to stardom in the first wave of punk rock and here looks at his album This Year’s Model recorded with his band The Attractions.   More »

2016 marks the fiftieth year since Taste, the blues-rock trio, was formed by legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher. Taste’s story almost reads like a Ziggy-ish rock n’ roll film script: a youthful band that promised much, only to split after a short period in a rather dramatic and personalised fashion, when they were right on the verge of 1970s rockstardom, due to a troublesome relationship with management. Thankfully, there is a lot more to Taste than such rock n’ roll cliché might suggest. Taste had a goodly share of creative achievement, both in its MKII and lesser-known MKI line-ups, which mark the band as deserving of more than a mere foot-note in the in the annals of 60s rock. More »

I thought it was a joke when this landed on my desk earlier but as with all the albums that arrive here at Hifi Pig Towers I gave it a fair trial and popped it on in the car whilst we drove to our destination for lunch. More »

This is bass player and composer Antoine Fafard’s fourth album and features Gary Husband on drums, lead synth and piano and Jerry De Villiers Jr on lead guitar. More »

This is actually from 1985 but is now available for the first time on CD along with eight bonus tracks included. When it first came out Kerrang said it was a “distinctive and attractive alternative to the mainstream flow of things” and that’s as true in 2016 as it was then. More »

In March this year, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry carried their guitars on to the Texas Eagle train in Chicago bound for Los Angeles.  During the journey, the pair recorded songs while the train stopped to pick up passengers.  With one eye on the train, to make sure that it didn’t pull off without them, songs were recorded in station waiting rooms and trackside platforms.  Four days and 2,728 miles later they disembarked at Union Station at 4.30am and recorded their final song accompanied by the first chirpings of the dawn chorus.  More »

This month John Scott breaks out Richard and Linda Thompson’s timeless classic from 1974. More »

I’m really not sure what to make of this album.  That’s not to say that I’ve initially approached it only to then back away with a kind of “what the hell is this?!!” type of response, but moreover I’ve played this album some 20+ times and still really don’t have a clue what to make of it all.  I’m not totally sure if it’s either a conscious body of work or possibly a case of throwing ideas into a blender only to see what happens.

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I’ve been a fan of Hopkins’ work for a number of years.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will already be aware that Hopkins has previously worked with Coldplay and his track “Light Through The Veins” was reworked into what became the introduction to opening track “Life In Technicolor” from Coldplay’s album ‘Viva la Vida Or Death And All His Friends’. More »

The sleeve notes for Eye’s Of Blue’s Crossroads Of Time opens with a bit of an odd one “Sometimes a band can anticipate history to their own detriment. There is such a thing of being too far ahead of the game and finding everyone else is still playing by the old school rules…The story of Welsh band Eyes of Blue is such a case in point”. More »

When I was a youth I had the door to my bedroom painted with all psychedelic patterns, dragons, mushrooms and the like. Somewhere on the door I also had a poem that started “I am Bufo bufo, not yet rested from the great work” and on the frame over the door I had “It’s an ill wind that blows no minds”. I’m sure my parents must have been very proud, if not a little concerned about my mental wellbeing.  The year the tunes on this collection came out I was born, but I’ve always been drawn to the whole hippy vibe…man, and love the music of this era; mostly it has to be said the music that came out of the US scene. More »

The Tomcats were a British R&B/Mod band formed in Ealing in 1965 but it is in Spain they were most well known. The story goes that just before they were about to make it big on the R&B scene in London the band jumped in a van (bought by one of the band’s mum) and headed for Madrid. More »

This month, John Scott revisits the 1968 classic from Pink Floyd, Saucerful Of Secrets. More »